Ability Of Gauleiters

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gavmeister13
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Ability Of Gauleiters

Post by gavmeister13 » 27 Apr 2006 21:10

I know nothing about the Gauleiters except they were put in charge of areas of Germany and conquered territory. Were any of them any good at managing the areas they were in charge of/improve the lives of those in areas under their control? From [the very limited material i've read] they seem to have been corrupt and towards the end with the Russians pressing in on Germany done a botch job and fled, often without regard for their underlings. is this a fair judgement or were there some talented people who used their position well?

regards

der meister

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Post by Deine-Zukunft » 27 Apr 2006 22:01

What i know is that all the important tasks were made by gauleiters.Hitler just concentrated to his dreams and the real and maybe the hardest work was made by gauleiters.Very talented people indeed.

They had very much organizing tasks and they were like todays democratic countries presidents in their own way.

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R.M. Schultz
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Re: Ability Of Gauleiters

Post by R.M. Schultz » 27 Apr 2006 22:08

The Gauleiters were a really mixed bag. Some (e.g. Joseph Goebbels, Albert Förster, Albert Krebs, Karl Hanke, Wilhelm Kube, and especially Karl Kaufmann) were very talented, capable men. Some, though somewhat capable, were power hungry (e.g. Martin Mutschmann, Fritz Sauckel , Josef Terboven, and Erich Koch). Some, though intelligent, were simply not good at wielding power (e.g. Baldur von Schirach or Bernhard Rust) while others were too dogmatically racist to be very effective (e.g. Odilo Globocnik, Julius Streicher, Artur Dinter , or Arthur Greiser). But most of them could simply be characterized as being party hacks who were in the right place at the right time to get high appointment. In his History of the Nazi Party [Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press 1969-73] Dietrich Orlow repeatedly mentions that Bormann was perpetually dissatisfied with a number of Gauleiters and would have replaced them if he had suitable candidates availiable. The problem was that the NSDAP was simply not attracting capable people and thus had a constant leadership shortage.

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Re: Ability Of Gauleiters

Post by Deine-Zukunft » 27 Apr 2006 22:24

R.M. Schultz wrote:The Gauleiters were a really mixed bag. Some (e.g. Joseph Goebbels, Albert Förster, Albert Krebs, Karl Hanke, Wilhelm Kube, and especially Karl Kaufmann) were very talented, capable men. Some, though somewhat capable, were power hungry (e.g. Martin Mutschmann, Fritz Sauckel , Josef Terboven, and Erich Koch). Some, though intelligent, were simply not good at wielding power (e.g. Baldur von Schirach or Bernhard Rust) while others were too dogmatically racist to be very effective (e.g. Odilo Globocnik, Julius Streicher, Artur Dinter , or Arthur Greiser). But most of them could simply be characterized as being party hacks who were in the right place at the right time to get high appointment. In his History of the Nazi Party [Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press 1969-73] Dietrich Orlow repeatedly mentions that Bormann was perpetually dissatisfied with a number of Gauleiters and would have replaced them if he had suitable candidates availiable. The problem was that the NSDAP was simply not attracting capable people and thus had a constant leadership shortage.

I would be interested to know what mistakes gauleiters did or what they didnt do,if they were uncapable?

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Post by Georges JEROME » 27 Apr 2006 22:44

the fact a number of Gauleiter reach to high position in state or administration and remain in post indicate some "skillness" :

Gauleiter Berlin Dr Josef Goebbels as Minister for Propaganda
Gauleiter Westfalen Nord Dr Alfred Meyer as state secretary in Ost Ministerium
Gauleiter Sud Hannover Braunschweig Bernard Rust as Kultus Minister
Gauleiter Bay Ostmark Hans Schemm bavarian Minister for Kultur
Gauleiter Essen Terboven as Reichskommissar in Norway
Gauleiter Weser Ems Paul Wegener choosen as chef des Zivilkabinett by Doenitz in mai 45
Gauleiter Rheinland Dr Ley which was chief of the organisation of the NSDAP and of the mass organisation DAF during whole NS period


JG

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R.M. Schultz
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Post by R.M. Schultz » 28 Apr 2006 03:08

Deine-Zukunft wrote:I would be interested to know what mistakes gauleiters did or what they didnt do,if they were uncapable?
I just finished Orlow’s two volume history of the Nazi government and there was a lot in there about problems with the Gauleiters. Though some were capable, most were corrupt, many were incompetant, and one (Friedrich Hildebrandt) was rumored to be illiterate. I was reading the book as part of my research on the political factions within the party, not for gossip about the gauleiters , so you will forgive me if that’s all I can really say about it.
JEROME Georges wrote:the fact a number of Gauleiter reach to high position in state or administration and remain in post indicate some "skillness" ...
Several of the Gauleiters had other positions as well:

Hinrich Lohse: Reich Commissar for the Ostland
Robert Ley: Head of the German Labor Front (DAF / Deutsche Arbeitsfront)
Erich Koch: Reich Commissar for the Ukraine
Bernhard Rust: Reich Minister of Education
Martin Mutschmann: Reichsstatthalter of Saxony
Karl Rover: Reichsstatthalter of Oldenburg and Bremen
Wilhelm Kube: Reich Commissar for White Russia
Fritz Sauckel: General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour (Generalbevollmächtigter für den Arbeitseinsatz)

Mostly, I think this means that there was so little talent within the NSDAP that they had to double-up positions on anyone who was even marginally capable. An example would be Sauckel, he was a marginally talented gauleiter who (according to Speer) was simply dreadful as Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour.

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Post by Mark Costa » 28 Apr 2006 13:09

The gauleiters were some of the most important personalities of the Third Reich. Most were old fighers from the early days. After 1933 Hitler realized that he had an ooportunity to infiltrate all aspects of society and local governments by appointing gauleiters as Reichstatthalters. In this way many regions were under the control of the same man who headed the party organization in those regions. These gauleiters then appointed their cronies to local governmental positions thus strengthening the party's control in the local regions.

However as time went on, it became obvious that many of these "beer hall" buddies needed to be replaced as they could not handle duties both within actual goverment service and party bureaus. Plus wartime really tested the abilties of many of these men -- most failed. With a few exceptions, most of the changes took place after 1939 and it was Bormann who was responsible for most of these changes. Bormann was consolidating his power in the party and realized that if he controlled the gauleiters, he controlled the entire party apparatus. He already controlled the Reichsleitung. But the gauleiters were always a thorn in his side as many were Hitler's old comrades and Adolf did not like to replace his old buddies. That is why it took so long to put Streicher on leave -- and when he did, Zimmermann, a Bormann crony, got the nod to head the party there for two years, before Holz finally replaced him --another Bormann friend.

In the gauleitung there were in fact two camps -- the Bormann supporters and the anti-Bormann men.

The Bormann group consisted mostly of the younger men appointed after 1939 or were the Austrian gauleiters:
Uibberreither
Rainer
Eigruber
Greiser
Wegener -- who at one time was Bormann's aide.
Gerland
Giesler
Albert Hoffmann
Scheel
Stohr


The anti-Bormann group included:
Burckel
Wahl
Adolf Wagner -- the most powerful of all the gauleiters with the exception of Goebbels who was also a Reichsleiter.
Wachtler
Kube
Forster
Kaufmann
Weinrich
Jordan


Bormann would have eventually replaced almost all of the early gauleiters had the Third Reich last several more years.
Most of the major party appointments after 1941 were made exclusively by Bormann. Erwin Kraus of the NSKK, Schepmann of the SA were Bormann appointees. He needed Lauterbacher in a gauleiter position to head off the appointment of the old comrade Kurt Schmalz when Rust was put on leave. By doing this, Bormann missed his opportunity to appoint or influence the choice of the HJ leader. Hence Axmann who was anti-Bormann got the nod instead. Even in 1940 before Hess left, Bormann was the major influence in party appointees.

Mark Costa

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Post by Michael Miller » 28 Apr 2006 17:25

Great post, Mark- very intelligently and succinctly expressed.

~ Mike

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Post by R.M. Schultz » 28 Apr 2006 19:10

Michael Miller wrote:Great post, Mark- very intelligently and succinctly expressed.

~ Mike
Yes, absolutely! It’s also worth noting that this Bormann / anti-Bormann alignment also roughly corresponds to the right/left division in the party. Kube and Kaufmann were two of the left-most of the Gauleiters, as were other anti-Bormann gauleiters like Koch and Hanke.

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Post by Mark Costa » 29 Apr 2006 17:43

RM:

I have to disagree with you on where Erich Koch stood in the two sides against Bormann. Koch was an old friend of Bormann's going all the way back into the early twenties. And Bormann was instrumental in obtaining for Koch his position as Reichskommisaar of the Ukraine as a way to offset Rosenberg's authority. So he would definately be in the Bormann camp.

Kube is another interesting person. Although considered on the "left" he eventually ended up in the Bormann camp. Originally he was anti-Bormann because he hated Walter Buch and of course made accusations about Buch's wife having Jewish relatives. This of course also reflected badly with Bormann as he was married to Buch's daughter. So Kube was not making any friends with the Buchs and the Bormanns. Kube eventually lost his title of Gauleiter and sent in oblivion because of it. However, he never lost the friendship of the Fuhrer. And when the war came and Bormann was no longer on speaking terms with his father-in-law, Kube was resurrected to become Generalkommisaar of the Ukraine. Bormann took an old enemy of his father-in-law and also was able to find another to offset Rosenberg. Bormann gave Kube another chance --hence Kube "owed" Bormann one as they say. Bormann managed to find a new "friend" in Kube, Offset Rosenberg, and tick off his father-in-law all in one step. Pretty smart of old Martin.

Mark

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Post by Jimmy » 29 Apr 2006 19:33

Mark Costa wrote:RM:
And when the war came and Bormann was no longer on speaking terms with his father-in-law, Kube was resurrected to become Generalkommisaar of the Ukraine. Bormann took an old enemy of his father-in-law and also was able to find another to offset Rosenberg. Bormann gave Kube another chance --hence Kube "owed" Bormann one as they say. Bormann managed to find a new "friend" in Kube, Offset Rosenberg, and tick off his father-in-law all in one step. Pretty smart of old Martin.Mark
any more information on the relationship between Bormann and Buch? why did they fall out?

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Post by Big Orange » 29 Apr 2006 23:09

So is Mark Costa saying that Bormann, despite being widely disliked by many for being a Hitler syncophant, actually had a relatively positive effect on the Nazi Party by kicking out useless bums like Streicher and putting somewhat competent people in his place?

And how competent were people like Hans Frank, the "King of Poland" and the rather creepy looking Arthur Seyss-Inquart (whom R.M. Schultz labelled him as a "mediocre" (despite the fact Mr. Seyss-Inquart had an IQ of 140)?

And while the Nazi Party was full of degenerates, arse licking sycophants, corrupt opportunists, fanatical sociopaths and incompetent megalomaniacs does not really make the Nazi regime that exceptional even by the standards of the day.

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Post by Phil Nix » 30 Apr 2006 10:01

Of all the Gauleiter I must admit to a grudging respect for Karl Kaufmann who was admired by the popul;ace of the city of Hamburg. A friend of mine used to go there on business and he told me that even the remaining Jews liked Kaufmann even though he had to carry out deportations. His city administration was instrumental on putting the city back on its feet after the fire raids of 1943. He organised the team of Carl Krogmann, Georg Ahrens Hans Kehrl and Georg Henning Graf von Bassewitz-Behr in such a way that they can citty affairs with ability. At the end he refused to operate the scorched earth policy and handed what was left of the port over to the allies, he had a bodyguard of Hitler Youth to protect him against any threat from SS or the army.
Phil Nix .

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Post by Boby » 30 Apr 2006 10:59

Dear Phil

I respect your opinion, but Kaufmann and the Gauleitung in Hamburg were very corrupt. Well, I think that the great majority of Regional leaders are corrupt. See the case of Christian Weber!

Regards
Boby,

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Post by Mark Costa » 01 May 2006 13:10

In response to Big Orange's comments. Bormann was not a "positive" influence on the party. Nothing was positive about a party that advocated hate. But what Bormann was doing, was putting professional political bureacrats into power where before, men like Streicher simply had no experience. Steicher too, was hated by just about everyone with the excpetion of Hitler himself.

In regard to Hans Frank he too was rather incompetent. His role in the Reichsleitung had long been useless and in 1942 Bormann simply had Hitler fire him from his position as a Reichsleiter. He of course retained his position as GovernorGeneral of Poland.

Bormann's goal was to simply take over as much power in the Party as possible. He first nullified the power of the Reichsleiters:
First Grimm was put into retirement in 1940.
Schirach was sent to Vienna in a demotion to gauleiter although he retained his Reichsleiter uniform with the useless title of Reichsleiter for Youth Education.
Hess flew to England opening teh way for Bormann's chance for ultimate power.
Men like Fiehler, Bouhler and Epp simply had their reichsleitung departments taken over by the Party Chancellery.
Frank was fired in 1942.
Frick was sent to Bohemia and Moravia in 1943 and even lost his position as Reichsminister of the Interior.
Ley kowtowed to Bormann at every whim.
Amann and Otto Dietrich were no longer powers to be reckoned with, as Goebbels had snatched up all of their areas of responsibilities.
Darre was sent on leave in 1942.
Röhm was dead.
Lutze was killed and was replaced by a Bormann crony, Schepmann
Huhnlein died in 1942 and was replaced by a Bormann crony, Erwin Kraus.
Rosenberg was sent into the RMBO where he argued with everyone.
Hierl was too old and Bormann simply left him alone waiting for the opportunity to pick his succesor.
Axmann was, at this point, too young simply not a power to reckon with.

That left only Himmler, Goebbels and Schwarz. Bormann made a pact with Himmler and for a while they were best of buddies.
With Goebbels, he simply did not tangle with.
And he needed Schwarz, as he controlled the party purse strings and Bormann was not able to get Hitler to replace him. Hence Bormann worked with Schwarz.

Then there was his father-in-law Reichsleiter Walter Buch. Buch was one of those rare individuals in the Reich. He actually believed that Hitler was setting up a real government and Party ruled by a democratic reichstag and judicial system. Buch considered himself the last word in Party matters as Chief of the Supreme Party Tribunal. He thought that even Hitler was to abide by his Courts decisions, which was laughable in the eyes of the other top leaders. Buch was, as Goebbels once stated in his diaries, "a laughstock and a male governness". Bormann realized that his father-in-law must go and went to great lengths to make his court decisions null and void. This is where the hate between them started. And of course Buch was greatly disturbed by the way that Bormann treated Buch daughter -- having mistresses living in the same house etc etc etc.

Mark

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